802.11ac Wi-Fi access point penetration nearly doubling every quarter

Infonetics’ report for Q2 2014 shows Wi-Fi equipment sales totalled $1.2bn (£741m) in 2Q14, up 13% sequentially, and up 4% year-over-year

802.11ac Wi-Fi access point penetration nearly doubling every quarter

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its second quarter 2014 (2Q14) report Wireless LAN Equipment and Wi-Fi Phones, which tracks enterprise access points, wireless LAN (WLAN) controllers, and Wi-Fi phones.

"Despite access point shipments reaching record levels, revenue growth in the wireless LAN market has been relatively weak so far this year due to temporary declines in service provider and K-12 spending, 802.11ac failing to lift average selling prices, and the rise of lower-cost solutions, including controller-less approaches," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

Machowinski added: "That said, we expect the wireless LAN equipment market to accelerate in 2015 as spending by service providers and education comes back, 802.11ac reaches critical mass, and Wave 2 products enter the market."

2Q14 WLAN market highlights:
•    Global wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment sales totalled $1.2bn (£741m) in 2Q14, up 13% sequentially, and up 4% year-over-year
•    Access point shipments are up by a third year-over-year in 2Q14
•    Controller revenue is down 5% in 2Q14 from the year-ago second quarter
•    802.11ac access point penetration has nearly doubled every quarter and is starting to cannibalise 802.11n
•    Wi-Fi phone revenue is down again in 2Q14, declining 1% quarter-over-quarter and 15% year-over-year.

802.11ac is the latest Wi-Fi standard and saw the first products hit the market this year. Wave 1 equipment differs from the previous 802.11n standard by delivering more data at a faster throughput, more spatial streams, wider channels and 256 QAM.

802.11ac adds 80MHz channels and uses 256 QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation), as opposed to 64 QAM for 802.11n, enabling you to transmit more data. It also provides three spatial streams. However, the second wave of equipment, due out in 2015, may add 160MHz channels (if desired) and a fourth spatial stream, which will enable multi-user MIMO. MU-MIMO enables the Wi-Fi access point to serve multiple devices at the same time.

Infonetics' quarterly WLAN equipment report provides worldwide and regional market size, vendor market share, forecasts through 2018, analysis, and trends for WLAN infrastructure, including access points by type and technology, WLAN controllers, and enterprise single-mode Wi-Fi phones.

Vendors tracked include: Aerohive, Alcatel-Lucent, Aruba, Brocade, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, Extreme, Juniper, Meru, Motorola, Netgear, HP, Huawei, Ruckus, Spectralink, TP-Link, Ubiquiti, Vocera, Xirrus and others.

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